Miami Country Day’s girls basketball program is without question a dynasty. Kristina Godfrey is one of the latest standard bearers of the city’s basketball power. The 5 foot 10 senior point guard capped off her career with her fourth state championship. She described the experience of ending the season by capturing another state title.
“It was amazing,” said Godfrey. “I previously won state titles in 7th, 8th, and 10th grade but this one definitely felt the best because I led my team all the way to the end.”
The Spartans are led by coach Ochiel Swaby, who has led the school to 8 state titles. This season’s championship was particularly impressive because the team’s leading scorer and one of the top players in the state Kayla Nelms was lost to a season ending injury. Gordon spoke about the season and how successful she believed Country Day’s year would turn out.
“The moment I realized that this team had what it took to win it all was when we played at the Nike Tournament of Champions in Phoenix. We beat teams ranked top 25 in the country which no one expected us to do. We felt if we could beat ranked teams out of the state, then we could beat Florida teams. We became unsure how things would play out when my teammate Kayla Nelms was injured and out for the season. However, after losing the district championship we were able to regroup and beat Westminster Academy in the regional finals and that’s when I was sure we had what it took to win it all.”
Godfrey was vital to her team’s success this year. She delivered a fantastic performance in the state championship game versus Cardinal Mooney. She finished with 20 points in a 54-38 win. The point guard talked about her love for the game and what she feels defines her as a player.
“I love competing. Growing up on a team that was always playing ranked teams around the country, I learned not to shy away from good competition. I would say the strengths of my game are my passing and scoring the ball off the dribble.”
Godfrey is the lastest in a long line of Spartans to move onto the Division 1 ranks. She will be attending Florida Atlantic University. FAU is moving to the American conference for this season. She talked about why she choose to attend Florida Atlantic.
“I felt that FAU was the perfect fit for me. Coach Sullivan and the rest of the coaching staff were very welcoming to me throughout the recruiting process. FAU is a great school and Boca Raton is pretty close to home so my family and friends can make it to games.”
The future owl had an amazing high school career. In addition to the four state titles, she scored over 1000 points and help Miami Country Day remain if the premier programs in the country. She described what she will remember most from her time in high school.
“I will remember all of the hard work that was put in every single day in practice. I will also remember how much my teammates and I pushed each other over the years to be the best versions of ourselves, and to always strive for greatness.”
We can not wait to see Godfrey suit up for the Owls and she what heights she can reach in her collegiate career. As for the Spartans, we imagine the standard that Godfrey helped maintain will continue to be around for a long time.
Mater Lakes guard Michael Bradley was a vital piece in his school winning their first State Title this season. The senior described what that moment meant to him.
"The experience of winning states is unreal," said Bradley "It’s been a long time coming and every year I came up short, so for me to finally get a state championship under my belt as I end my high school career was the happy ending I was looking for. I could not ask for anything else."
The Bears went 28-3 this season and were one of the top teams in the state throughout the year. They were led by first year head coach Dylan Estock, who took over after being an assistant coach at Mater Lakes previously. They had signature wins against Belen, Riviera, Miami Country Day, Winter Haven, and more during the season. Despite all the victories Bradley described one of the team’s losses was the moment that he felt the team was ready to capture the 4a title.
“I would say the point I realized we had what it took was when we lost to Columbus(73-60 final that was a close game throughout). It changed us, we were a different team after that. Everyone had that edge to them and players started to step up and give more than what they were giving before.”
Bradley averaged 12.6 points, 3.5 steals, 2.6 assists, and 2.4 rebounds for a very well rounded Mater Lakes Squad. The senior made 99 triples on the season, which was the fifth most in the state. He talked about what he feels his strengths as a player are.
“My strength on the court I would say is my defense. I take pride in my defense, I feel like if you aren’t a good defender it’s because you don’t want to be. I think about it as I want to stop this person from scoring because I want to show that he isn’t better than me and I take that personally. Then I would have to say my shooting, I can shoot the ball a little bit. After that I would say my passing, I can find my teammates because we play together so much I know where they are going and what they like to do.”
The senior had a big performance in the blowout state championship game vs The Villages. He had a very efficient 21 points. He made 5 of his 7 three point attempts and was a perfect 2 for 2 from inside the arc. It was an impressive way to cap a high school career. Bradley is headed to Barry University and he talked about why he chose to become a Buccaneer.
“I liked that Barry is an up-tempo team that shoots a lot of threes and traps and that is exactly how my high school team plays. I grew up around Barry(His father is an assistant coach at Barry) so I knew what it had to offer and I know if I put in my time there I have no doubt I will be able to play professionally.”
Bradley played the last two seasons at Mater Lakes, before that he was at Mater Academy where he played high school ball starting in middle school. He talked about one of the things he will remember from his high school time, which was playing for the late Marcos “Shakey” Rodriguez.
“The thing that I remember the most about my high school career, without a doubt I will say, is the time I spent my freshman year with coach Shakey Rodriguez. He passed away right after the season and that was the first big loss I ever had in my life because I was so young. I have a feeling of appreciation for him and all the knowledge he gave me when I was a wide eyed freshman.
Michael Bradley had an extremely productive and winning career in Miami. It will be fun to see what is in store for his collegiate career at Barry University playing for longtime coach Butch Estes.